Here you will find information on how to donate to our respective charities which we have selected, the story behind them and the challenge we have set ourselves to complete.
Nat Nott and I have set ourselves the brutal task of climbing the height of Mount Everest (8849m) on our mountain bikes. This is a challenge also known as ‘Everesting’ and we are planning to complete the ride in under 30 hours in order to raise money for both Blood Cancer UK and Young Minds.
Nat and I have been friends since secondary school and have ridden and raced mountain bikes for the best part of 10 years together across the UK and Europe. Therefore, the first thing that came to mind was to do a charity bike ride. The concept of this challenge is simple yet is said to be one of the hardest climbing challenges in the world. The idea is to pick any mountainous location and complete a route which incorporates multiple climbs until we reach the total elevation gain of 8849m. We are planning to complete the ride in April 2021 at The Forest of Dean. The forest is known for its world-class mountain bike trails, technical descents and climbs. An ideal location to complete our challenge! Furthermore, the challenge will take place over one weekend through day and night in one sitting with no sleep or rest. until we reach our target. This will be without a doubt the hardest thing either of us have ever attempted.
Initially, Nat and I set out to raise money for Blood Cancer UK as it is a charity close to our hearts. In September 2018, Grace (Nat’s girlfriend) was diagnosed with Stage 2 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma, a blood cancer which effects the lymphatic system. She underwent six months of chemotherapy and is now thankfully in remission. Prior to this when Nat was 7 years old, he was also diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia and made a successful recovery after three and a half years of chemotherapy. Leukaemia is another cancer which also affects the blood, like lymphoma. Immediately after hearing of Grace’s diagnosis, Nat and I knew we wanted to raise money for charity to help fund life-saving research and to support those suffering from blood cancer. As both Nat and Grace suffered from blood related illnesses, Blood Cancer UK was a no brainer.
Blood Cancer UK fund world-class research and ensure that everyone has access to the right support at the right time, whether that be someone to talk to or providing health information they can trust. They also campaign for better treatments for a vast range of different blood cancers including Lymphoma, Leukaemia, and Myeloma.
Due to me being away at university, Nat working a full-time job, and us both living busy lives, planning this event has taken some time. In July this year we received some deeply tragic news that a friend of us both, James Kimberley, sadly took his own life after suffering with mental health. Both Nat and I went to school and played rugby with James and we were extremely saddened and struck by the news. Towards the end of James’ life, he became a huge advocate for mental health and opened up about his own struggles. Nat and I feel compelled to carry his message forward to raise awareness of mental health, and in James’ words: “Don’t be an absent friend”. Therefore, we have made the decision to also raise money for the Young Minds charity as well as Blood Cancer UK.
Young Minds is a charity which was close to James’s heart. Their mission is to make sure that all young people can get the mental health support they need, when they need it, no matter what. Whether this be in the form of a reassuring conversation, specialist mental health support, or simply the knowledge that they are not alone in how they are feeling, they aim to ensure that all young people get the support that they need as quickly as possible.
Currently, one in four people suffer from a mental health illness during their lives and 75% of all mental health issues occur before the age of 24. This year has been challenging for everyone, so now more than ever it is an important time to check in on your friends. Opening up about mental health can take the utmost courage and having that first conversion with someone can start their road to recovery.
For more information about either of the charities, the links to their websites’ can be found here:
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Any donation, no matter how big or small, will go a long way towards supporting these crucial, life-saving charities.
Thank you in advance for your generosity. If you have any queries or questions about the challenge or the charities, don’t hesitate to drop either of us a message. Furthermore, if you would like to get involved and join us with part of the ride or simply come and cheer us on, on the day (COVID dependent) then let us know.
Lots of love,
Elliot and Nat